Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Emperor and the Maula, by Robert Silverberg

★★★☆☆ Average

(Space Opera) Laylah comes to the Ansaar homeworld to convince the emperor that conquered Earth deserves better treatment. But it’s death for a barbarian to even set foot there, much less beg an audience with the Lord of the Universe. (32,936 words; Time: 1h:49m)

This story is Hugo-eligible in 2018 because it is a substantial modification to the original (much shorter) story by the same name published in 2007.

"The Emperor and the Maula," by , published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2017.793 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Laylah gains autonomy for Earth and wealth and distinction for herself. Not bad for a few nights of storytelling.

Laylah’s adventures are interesting in their own right, and there’s a certain amount of tension to spice things up.

The strong anti-colonial theme influences every chapter.

Con: The story deliberately tries to mimic the style of “Arabian Nights,” but I found the result unsatisfying because (by design) I was always aware I was reading a story, and hence could never really get immersed into it.

The ending falls flat because it seems way too good to be true.

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